Gehry Partners, LLP

Gehry BIO portrait.jpgPhoto ©Thomas Mayer

By Kirsten Kiser

Frank O. Gehry was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1929 and moved to Los Angeles in 1947.  He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954 and then studied City Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Massachusetts until 1957.  Returning to the West Coast he worked for several firms before opening his own practice Frank O. Gehry and Associates, Inc., in Los Angeles in 1962. The Gehry partnership, Gehry Partners, LLP, was formed in 2001.

Gehry first attracted serious critical attention with his own house in Santa Monica (1977 – 78) when he wrapped the small pink Californian bungalow in cheap materials such as chain link fencing, corrugated aluminum and unfinished plywood, leaving the original house inside the new house.   

By the mid 1980s, his work had attracted international attention and his reputation was confirmed when he received the 1989 Pritzker Prize, the world’s most prestigious architecture award.  

Then came the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1997), hailed by architect Philip Johnson as “the greatest building of our time,” followed by several projects around the world. With the completion of the Disney Concert Hall in 2004 Gehry became the most visible of an elite group of “starchitects”.

In 2014 he saw the completion of one of his most dramatic buildings yet, the billowing glass and steel Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France.  

A Gehry building begins with a sketch after which the Gehry project team start creating models of different scales and materials to explore both the functional and sculptural aspects of the project.

As soon as I understand the scale of the building and the relationship to the site and the relationship to the client, as it becomes more and more clear to me, I start doing sketches.”
/Frank Gehry

Gehry BIO Disney Hall.jpg

Disney Concert Hall. Sketch courtesy Gehry Partners, LLP

The firm relies on the use of Digital Project, a sophisticated 3D computer modeling program originally created for use by the aerospace industry, to thoroughly document designs and to rationalize the bidding, fabrication, and construction processes.